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New UK research illuminates new developments for anticancer treatment

Published on 26/10/16 at 09:35am
Image Credit: manufacturingchemist.com

New research from the University of Huddersfield has shed light on a new lab technique which could aid in the development of an important anticancer treatment.

By injecting polymer beads into arteries to ‘feed’ tumours, scientists are able to starve them of oxygen and nutrients by blocking blood flow. The polymers then release an anticancer drug directly into the tumour, reducing systemic side-effects.

Research was conducted using a blood-mimicking liquid – a buffer – and pumping it at different rates through the beads, varying the quantity of drugs they contained. The researchers then compared their findings to in vivo data to validate the technique.

University of Huddersfield pharmaceutical science lecturer and researcher Dr Laura Waters (pictured, right, with PhD researcher Tanya Swaine), one of the study’s co-authors, said that this development holds great significance for medical researchers working with bead-based systems, allowing them to simulate accurate predictions without endangering patients.

“There was no lab mimic that was able to adequately predict how the drug was released from these drug-eluting beads once they were in the body,” said Waters. “The article describes a way of doing it in the lab. We compared our results with in vivo data and proved that the method worked.”

Professor Andy Lewis, director of R&D at BTG and industrial supervisor in the collaboration, commented: "We are continually innovating our drug-eluting bead technologies to introduce new features, such as X-ray visibility or biodegradability. It’s important from a product development perspective that if we wanted to put other drugs into the beads, or change anything about their chemistry, we could use this system to predict product behaviour before it is given to people."

Matt Fellows

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